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Mobile vaccination clinics to serve county's at-risk residents next week
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Mobile vaccination clinics to serve county's at-risk residents next week

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The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will launch mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics in vulnerable areas throughout the county starting April 15, public health officials said Friday.

The clinics were organized in collaboration with local agricultural employers, housing developments and churches in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Barbara, and will not be open to the general public, according to Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso. 

Vulnerable residents targeted through the clinics will include communities of color and agricultural guest workers through the H-2A program, according to officials. 

"We will be doing it until the end of July, and if needed, we can look at extending it. We are hoping that by the end of July, vulnerable populations within Santa Maria will have been fully vaccinated," Do-Reynoso said. 

Three teams in Santa Maria from the Santa Maria Health Care Center and one team each in Lompoc and Santa Barbara will be running the mobile clinics, which officials expect will serve up to 200 residents per day.

Several clinics already have been scheduled, but officials did not say where they will take place.

For the general population, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is beginning a phased rollout of the state's third-party appointment scheduling system, MyTurn.

First-dose appointment clinics and appointments through various providers will become available over the coming days via the MyTurn website at myturn.ca.gov, officials said. 

Residents can now schedule appointments through MyTurn for an April 16 vaccine clinic at Hancock College in Santa Maria. The clinic will offer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to officials. 

As of Friday, approximately 45% of those age 16 and older have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 19% of the county's population has been fully vaccinated, according to county data.

Once 85% of the population has been declared immune to COVID-19, either by being fully vaccinated or recovering from the illness themselves, the county will have reached the state's definition of herd immunity, county Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said.

“Vaccination is one of the most important tools we have to help end the COVID-19 pandemic. The state has said if we continue on the positive trajectory we are currently on with decreasing cases and hospitalizations, we can fully reopen schools, businesses, and resume our most enjoyed activities soon," Ansorg said.

Daily COVID-19 cases

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported 119 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, 65 of which are cases from January that were backlogged in the state's data system.

In total, 33,545 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the county and 161 cases remain active, according to county public health data.

As of Friday, 27 county residents were hospitalized for COVID-19, including four individuals in the intensive care unit, according to county data.

In Santa Maria, 40 out of 11,310 total COVID-19 cases remain active and 153 individuals have died from the illness.

In Orcutt, three out of 1,780 total cases remain active and 29 individuals have died.

In Lompoc, 18 out of 3,571 total cases remain active and 53 individuals have died.

In the Santa Ynez Valley area of Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez and Ballard, three out of 991 total cases remain active and 17 individuals have died.

In the North County area of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and Guadalupe, six out of 1,276 total cases remain active and 22 individuals have died.

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